By Robert Bradley Jr. — March 1, 2022
“Given the increasing normalization of solar geoengineering research, a strong political message to block these technologies is required. An International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering is needed now.”
“The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering risks becoming a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate denialists, and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.”
It is hard being green. Battling against energy density in the age of high-energy civilization is a set-up for failure so long as citizen-voters have a say. People want reliable, affordable energy. And poor people without modern energy want and need it the most. That means oil, gas, and coal–not wind, solar, and batteries.
Those wedded to climate alarmism/forced energy transformation are in a desperate hour. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 was ignored and died. The Paris Accord of 2015 (“a fraud … a fake” stated James Hansen) is dying. COP 26 did nothing, and COP27 is already in trouble. The ‘energy transition’ needs to be away from dilute, intermittent sources toward dense mineral energies.
Nuclear in Play
The current wind/solar predicament has caused a growing number of anti-energy advocates to accept the need for that old foe, nuclear power. The EU climate powers have blessed nuclear for the first time as part of the Net Zero plan. And on the intellectual side, my personal foe Andrew Dessler, the atmospheric scientist turned energy analyst, stated recently:
My views on nuclear have officially evolved. I do expect that we will need some fraction of our energy (~20%) to come from nuclear to reach a 100%-clean grid.
I used to think that the high cost of nuclear made it uncompetitive, and it is on today’s grid, but @JesseJenkins has convinced me that it still makes sense on a carbon-free grid.
Deep Ecology vs. Geo-engineering
Nuclear, very expensive and taking the longest to construct, and with waste issues long decried by many environmentalists, must be a hard pill to swallow. But what about mankind reversing the human influence on climate by altering the climate itself, called solar geo-engineering?
A new group, Solar Geoengineering Non-Use Agreement (SGNUA), is dead-set against solar geoengineering. So-called solar radiation management or modification (SRM) technologies intended to lower global temperatures are “artificially intervening in the climate systems of our planet,” SGNUA states.
If you smell deep ecology, you are right. Remember back in the 1970s when both global cooling and global warming from the human influence were in debate with the net effect unknown? Not knowing the answer, both were considered bad. Stated John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich in 1977:
[T]here can be scant consolation in the idea that a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend. Since the different factors producing the two trends do so by influencing different parts of Earth’s complicated climatic machinery, it is most unlikely that the associated effects on circulation patterns would cancel each other.
Just Say No!
This philosophy against humankind’s influence on global climate from any direction also applies at any height. The SGNUA plea begins:
There are growing calls in recent years for research on “solar geoengineering,” a set of entirely speculative technologies to reduce incoming sunlight on earth in order to limit global warming.
And the answer is an out-of-hand no.
Our initiative stands against such emerging initiatives to explore planetary techno-fixes as a climate policy option. Solar geoengineering deployment at planetary scale cannot be fairly and effectively governed in the current system of international institutions. It also poses unacceptable risk if ever implemented as part of future climate policy. A strong political message from governments, the United Nations and civil society is urgently needed.
Their unequivocal manifesto and open letter follows:
We Call for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering
We call for immediate political action from governments, the United Nations, and other actors to prevent the normalization of solar geoengineering as a climate policy option. Governments and the United Nations must assert effective political control and restrict the development of solar geoengineering technologies at planetary scale. Specifically, we call for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. Download in Other Languages View Signatories
Solar geoengineering⎯a set of hypothetical technologies to reduce incoming sunlight on earth⎯is gaining prominence in debates on climate policy. Several scientists have launched research projects on solar geoengineering, and some see it as a potential future policy option.
To us, these proliferating calls for solar geoengineering research and development are cause for alarm. We share three fundamental concerns:
First, the risks of solar geoengineering are poorly understood and can never be fully known. Impacts will vary across regions, and there are uncertainties about the effects on weather patterns, agriculture, and the provision of basic needs of food and water.
Second, speculative hopes about the future availability of solar geoengineering technologies threaten commitments to mitigation and can disincentivize governments, businesses, and societies to do their utmost to achieve decarbonization or carbon neutrality as soon as possible. The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering risks becoming a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate denialists, and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.
Third, the current global governance system is unfit to develop and implement the far-reaching agreements needed to maintain fair, inclusive, and effective political control over solar geoengineering deployment.
The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Environment Programme or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are all incapable of guaranteeing equitable and effective multilateral control over deployment of solar geoengineering technologies at planetary scale. The United Nations Security Council, dominated by only five countries with veto power, lacks the global legitimacy that would be required to effectively regulate solar geoengineering deployment.
These concerns also arise with informal governance arrangements such as multi-stakeholder dialogues or voluntary codes of conduct. Informal arrangements face barriers to entry by less powerful actors and risk contributing to premature legitimization of these speculative technologies.
Science networks are dominated by a few industrialized countries, with less economically powerful countries having little or no direct control over them. Technocratic governance based on expert commissions cannot adjudicate complex global conflicts over values, risk allocation and differences in risk acceptance that arise within the context of solar geoengineering.
Without effective global and democratic controls, the geopolitics of possible unilateral deployment of solar geoengineering would be frightening and inequitable. Given the anticipated low monetary costs of some of these technologies, there is a risk that a few powerful countries would engage in solar geoengineering unilaterally or in small coalitions even when a majority of countries oppose such deployment.
In short, solar geoengineering deployment cannot be governed globally in a fair, inclusive, and effective manner. We therefore call for immediate political action from governments, the United Nations, and other actors to prevent the normalization of solar geoengineering as a climate policy option.
Governments and the United Nations should take effective political control and restrict the development of solar geoengineering technologies before it is too late. We advocate for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering specifically targeted against the development and deployment of such technologies at planetary scale.
The International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering should commit governments to five core prohibitions and measures:
- The commitment to prohibit their national funding agencies from supporting the development of technologies for solar geoengineering, domestically and through international institutions.
- The commitment to ban outdoor experiments of solar geoengineering technologies in areas under their jurisdiction.
- The commitment to not grant patent rights for technologies for solar geoengineering, including supporting technologies such as for the retrofitting of airplanes for aerosol injections.
- The commitment to not deploy technologies for solar geoengineering if developed by third parties.
- The commitment to object to future institutionalization of planetary solar geoengineering as a policy option in relevant international institutions, including assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
An International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering would not prohibit atmospheric or climate research as such, and it would not place broad limitations on academic freedom. The agreement would instead focus solely on a specific set of measures targeted purely at restricting the development of solar geoengineering technologies under the jurisdiction of the parties to the agreement.
International political control over the development of contested, high-stakes technologies with planetary risks is not unprecedented. The international community has a rich history of international restrictions and moratoria over activities and technologies judged to be too dangerous or undesirable.
This history demonstrates that international bans on the development of specific technologies do not limit legitimate research or stifle scientific innovation. In addition, an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering could include exceptions for less dangerous approaches, for example by allowing the use of localized surface albedo-related technologies that pose few cross-regional or global risks.
In sum, an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering would be timely, feasible, and effective. It would inhibit further normalization and development of a risky and poorly understood set of technologies that seek to intentionally manage incoming sunlight at planetary scale. And it would do so without restricting legitimate climate research. Decarbonization of our economies is feasible if the right steps are taken. Solar geoengineering is not necessary. Neither is it desirable, ethical, or politically governable in the current context.
Given the increasing normalization of solar geoengineering research, a strong political message to block these technologies is required. An International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering is needed now.
Nuclear, carbon capture and storage, geoengineering, industrial wind, solar slabs–deep ecologists are at war with themselves. Peter Huber was correct when he made a case for carbon-based energies being relatively green.
The greenest fuels are the ones that contain the most energy per pound of material than must be mined, trucked, pumped, piped, and burnt. [In contrast], extracting comparable amounts of energy from the surface would entail truly monstrous environmental disruption…. The greenest possible strategy is to mine and to bury, to fly and to tunnel, to search high and low, where the life mostly isn’t, and so to leave the edge, the space in the middle, living and green.
– Peter Huber, Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists (New York: Basic Books, 1999), pp. 105, 108.
The US National Academy of Sciences is hot on SGE.
Turkeys voting for Christmas
Now I know that these nitwits are not just daft but criminally psychotic. Meddling like that with mother nature is rampant Faustian insanity.
I will do everything within my power to sabotage such schemes if they are brought to fruition.
given how much they have already effed up the world with all of their doomsday projections that haven’t materialized, but have succeeded in causing many countries into trashing their economies, putting their people in the poorhouse & trading cheap energy for unreliable high priced intermittent energy, I can just imagine how much they can eff up the climate for ever with ‘geo engineering’.
Glad I’m not a 20 something if this is what the future has in store.
The idea of spraying aerosols is not just insane, it is factually wrong. It is not so much the what, but the where. Whatever you spray at flight level, that is top of the troposphere, will not have a cooling, but a warming effect.
The reason is pretty simple, as temperatures up there are extremely low (~215K). Compared to an average emission temperature of 255K, this would roughly halve emissions, as (215/255)^4 = 0.5.
It hardly matters how much sun light such aerosols reflect, the LW effect will be stronger and you get warming in the end.
Delgado-Bonal, A., Marshak, A., Yang, Y. and Holdaway, D., 2020. Analyzing changes in the complexity of climate in the last four decades using MERRA-2 radiation data. Scientific reports, 10(1), pp.1-8.
Really? There is an information transfer from LW to SW? I hope SW can learn a lot from LW..
It’s sciency sounding talk for entropy….the integral of dQ/T for those with thermo backgrounds…and the basis of tephigrams used by meteorologists.
“This decoupling between shortwave and longwave radiation indicates that the dynamics of the climatic system in the last 40 years has changed, as observed in the energy imbalance of the last decades, suggesting that changes in SW played a mayor role.”
The above is from the same paper and same page.
It seems to me they are saying it is the sun what done it.
No, clouds what done it.
The more Sunshine at surface, the warmer it gets during the day. The more clouds at night, the warmer it stays during the night. What time of day the clouds form and dissipate is what is really important, but nobody studies that….except maybe meteorologists with their boring Skew-T diagrams and CAPE calculations.
SW doesn’t come from clouds. And as you said “the more sunshine at the surface the warmer it gets”.
I am pretty sure that volcanoes have run the actual experiment several times.
Sulfur dioxide aerosols have unequivocally been shown to cool the planet.
High up in the stratosphere, at 30, 40km altitude. That is not exactly where aircraft fly..
Thank you for the clarification regarding the altitudes!
However, I still don’t understand your comment. High clouds in the troposphere certainly have a cooling effect (in the equatorial and temperate zones).
The sunlight reflected is significantly greater than the amount of LW radiation that is blocked from escaping to space.
Nope. Your comment points out what you fail to understand about the GHE.
It is not about blocking, nor about absorption. What matters is always the emission temperature. The lower the emission temperature, the less emissions, the stronger the GHE (or a forcing, or feedback, whatever..). GHGs, clouds and aerosols all work by substituting the relatively warm surface emission temperature with a lower emission temperature higher up.
And because high altitude clouds circumstantially have a very low emission temperature, they are always warming. And this is not even disputed, but consensus.
Where the consensus is wrong, is in believing low clouds were cooling, when in fact they are warming too. That is because their CRE estimates are totally wrong, as they have not learned how to deal with overlaps.
In reality there is clearly a positive correlation between low clouds and surface temperature, as the example of Nuremberg here shows (avg. temperature in °C vs. octas of cloudiness)
But aircraft are not the only means of delivery being proposed.
Here is one recent study the Volcanoes’ did.
Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, ejecting vast amounts of ash and gas high into the atmosphere; so high that the volcano’s plume penetrated into the stratosphere, the layer of atmosphere extending 6-30 miles in altitude. Pinatubo injected about 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, where it reacted with water to form a hazy layer of aerosol particles composed primarily of sulfuric acid droplets. Over the course of the next two years strong stratospheric winds spread these aerosol particles around the globe.
World temps – from 1992 to 1993, large parts of the planet cooled as much as 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
So 15 million tons every 2 years, hauled up 12 miles up over the equator gets you temperature relief of 0.7F.
Not sure how much temperature gain from mining and planes flying that high would Add to the Temperature.
Using jet-powered aircraft is not the only idea being proposed for delivering particles to block sunlight—some are much higher in altitude, into the stratosphere.
One could try with an SR-71. But I would really not recommend it. That is despite the logistic problem of delivering millions of tons of SO2 every year..
Considering any kind of geo engineering interferes with the no. 1 objective of stopping all use of fossil fuels. Can’t have that.
I thought Gates(?) had a geoengineering experiment in the works to use a high-altitude balloon to dump reflective particles into the upper atmosphere.
Did I miss the test results, or did he withdraw the project due to some opposition?
Don’t know, but if climate change is the existential threat they claim it is, then a rational person would be open to any feasible solution.
1. Geo-engineering is a great way to generate international stress and conflict. What’s ‘good’ for one country can be disastrous for others, and unintended consequences can be disastrous too. And I think that unintended consequencies can be just about guaranteed.
2. “I used to think that the high cost of nuclear made it uncompetitive, and it is on today’s grid, but @JesseJenkins has convinced me that it still makes sense on a carbon-free grid.” is a great way of saying that ‘carbon free’ is unacceptably expensive.
Point 2 – Yes.
Point 1 – Doesn’t that apply to aminate mitigation as well?
Given the total lack of sense displayed by warmistas I didn’t read that saying it makes sense has anything to do with costs.
The magic pudding costs used to justify renewables could just as well mean that nuclear is in fact pretty low cost.
The only reason why nuclear is expensive is because the same people who push renewables, want it to be expensive. There is no reason why nuclear needs to be expensive, and the waste “problem” was solved 60 years ago.
This is as much over-reach as CAGW and Anti-Nuclear stances and has at it’s heart the same stupid concept of Human Rights over the world. It has zero chance of working as you are encroaching on a countries sovereignty.
I reserve the right to geo and solar engineer and I don’t care you don’t like it.
I really wish to ban human stupidity of which this is an example and we need an International Non Stupidity Pact Now … please support it 🙂
Geoengineering of any stripe is a strawman, since only those who believe there is something “wrong” with our climate, that we humans are responsible and thus need to “fix” our climate are proposing it as a possible “solution”.
“so long as citizen-voters have a say. “
Most here should know the significance of that. The ordinary average voter is far too information low to have any idea about what they are voting for. That will have to change.
Nope, the average voter has a lot more sense than they are given credit for.
People are very good at smelling bullshit, even if they don’t understand the chemical make up of said crap.
The lame falling back of calling voters dumb is the horrific and despicable tactic used by Hillary. It is also the favourite excuse for progressives losing elections worldwide.
Recently Pelosi has been saying that the reason why Biden is so unpopular is because the people just haven’t been properly informed.
Why do I smell re-education camps?
All liberals ALWAYS think that people who don’t think like them are just too stupid to understand, or just haven’t had it explained clearly enough.
The possibility that they are deluded or just plain wrong NEVER crosses their mind. Think griff.
So gas prices are high because we don’t have enough wind and solar.
Keystone XL won’t help TODAY, so why bother? Etc.etc.
If they are provided ALL the information I agree.
When Tom Steyer was pushing his minimum % renewable ballot measures in AZ and NV, the results were different.
NV approved the stupidity. The ballot measure did not mention the COST.
In AZ, the then Attorney General required language to be added to something like “regardless of the cost to ratepayers”. Now voters KNOW what that means and soundly defeated the initiative.
Steyer then spent MILLIONS to defeat that AG in his next election, which he was successful in doing. Hell hath no fury like a woman, or liberal, scorned.
BTW” haven’t heard much from Steyer lately. He must be raking in the dough from all of his “renewable energy” investments, at least from NV and Cali, not so much from AZ.
THE TERMINATION EVENT HAS ARRIVED:
Something big just happened on the sun. Solar physicists Scott McIntosh (NCAR) and Bob Leamon (U. Maryland-Baltimore County) call it “The Termination Event.””Old Solar Cycle 24 has finally died–it was terminated!” says McIntosh. “Now the new solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, can really take off.”
The “Termination Event” is a new idea in solar physics, outlined by McIntosh and Leamon in a December 2020 paper in the journal Solar Physics. Not everyone accepts it–yet. If Solar Cycle 25 unfolds as McIntosh and Leamon predict, the Termination Event will have to be taken seriously..
Why should we care? From the above linked story:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that predictions about sunspots and their effects have a spotty record. Certainly, we’ve witnessed hot debates on the subject here on WUWT.
The Terminator theory implies that there’s something physical, like a blob of something deep within the sun, that finally dissipates. I think the most parsimonious explanation is that the sun is a sphere and that gives rise to quasi-periodic phenomena. For instance, the waveforms shown in this paper seem similar to the quasi-periodic phenomena, ENSO being a prime example, that we observe on the Earth.
Solar geoengineering is easily comparable to virus gain-of-function research … what could possibly go wrong?
What could go wrong?
If I see Fauci touting an upcoming solar geoengineering experiment, then I will personally drive to the site to toss a monkey wrench into the works!
As a measure of how bad things are, I almost cried when an email came from the Farmers Weekly Magazine….
Seemingly UK Government is now on the task of coercing UK farmers into looking after their soil.
The Volte Face is simply epic – every UK and European farm policy has been all about Cheap Food ever since end of hostilities in 1945
(One might wonder about Ukraine here – it is THE most incredible place for growing wheat – its not about oil & gas at all. Get real – which is the greater priority, food or fuel?)
Not least because ‘Cheap Food’ means that folks have lotz of money left over that they can spend on taxes. Some of that tax then goes to ‘supporting’ (ha ha ha slow hand clap) Farmers
I reality those support payments are an effing great stick with which to beat farmers.
It is not without good reason I oft use the word ‘peasant’
Sorry for the tangent…
The email I got detailed what farmers are supposed to now do to protect their soil and, the bit that really got me, was the Official UK Gov’s description of what Good Soil should look like..
Apart from the grotesquely staged earthworm in a mess of cloddy lumpen material were the words telling us that
“Soil should be light brown in colour”
If anybody has been reading anything of wot i wrote in here these last few years – I’ll see you in the queue to get onto Elon’s ‘Alpha Centauri’ shuttle. One Way Ticket
Unless, and it’s a big unless, something is done to fix the soil, NOT the sky.
(I discovered a fantastic new word on the subject recently – a word invented by the Dutch and they know about soil dirt and farming.
Water also, there’s a puzzle (to those who think soil should be ‘light brown’)
“I almost cried when an email came from the Farmers Weekly Magazine…”
I think I would, too.
“If anybody has been reading anything of wot i wrote “
I recall telling you I’d noticed a loamy theme to your posts.
Still, I wouldn’t worry too much about soil colouration, not when it’s covered in wind farms and solar panels.
Light brown? Try telling that to the farmers of Devon (where it’s a rich red-brown) or those in the Fenland (where it’s almost black) – two of the most fertile soils in the UK.
We have NINE different soils on our small wheat farm in the central U.S.
I am sure having a government bureaucrat (that got a “D” in Rocks for Jocks as their only college science class) setting soil conservation rules will greatly benefit farmers!
One paragraph struck my eye, and with a small change challenges one of the prime assertions of the anti-energy cabal.
“Science networks are dominated by a few industrialized countries, with less economically powerful countries having little or no direct control over them. Technocratic governance based on expert commissions cannot adjudicate complex global conflicts over values, risk allocation and differences in risk acceptance that arise within the context of solar geoengineering.”
So, if developing nations would be unrepresented by decisions from a tecnocratic elite, can not the same argument apply to that elite deciding what energy those nations may employ? I offer the following:
Science networks are dominated by a few industrialized countries, with less economically powerful countries having little or no direct control over them. Technocratic governance based on expert commissions cannot adjudicate complex global conflicts over values, risk allocation and differences in risk acceptance that arise within the context of decarbonization policies.
The entire diatribe could be subject to that one deletion/insertion to challenge the whole climate-decarb philosophy.
The arrogant idea that we can sit at the same table as the good Lord and can control the climate, just like that, would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.
Actually, nuclear energy, contrary to common misperception repeated in this post, is NOT expensive. France, which generates 80 percent of its electrical power from nuclear plants, the cost of electricity to consumers there ranges from 6.34 to 9.82 Euro cents per KW-Hr. Given the current exchange rate to the dollar, that equates to 7.04 US cents to 10.9 US cents per KW-hr, which is actually significantly cheaper than most electric prices in the US, where only 20% of our electricity comes from nukes. The average price in the US today is 14.2 cents per KW-hr.
What is the most expensive source today is coal.
If you don’t have a pile of cheap fossil fuel resources, nuclear power can be a viable alternative, as France has amply demonstrated.
Is that the generation cost alone, or does it include the transmission cost? Does it include all the taxes and the feel-good fees?
In spite of all the desperate bloviation on the part of the fossil fuel shills, wind and solar are being deployed faster than any other sources of electricity in history. Cleaner, cheaper, and more flexible, the dominance of renewables is inevitable.
You could be the Baghdad Bob of renewable energy. 🙂
And pigs can fly indeed. Incidentally, I have the Eiffel Tower for sale; interested?
Only with a wind turbine on top.
And covered with solar panels. Including the north facing side.
Sometimes that’s necessary … like Australia for instance. 🙂
Funny how the growth of highly subsidized power sources is presented as proof of the dominance of those power sources.
And before you repeat your lies from yesterday, fossil fuels are not subsidized. Getting the same tax breaks as every other industry on the planet is not a subsidy. The renewable industries also use these similar tax breaks.
More FLEXIBLE? Meaning the output always varies, it goes up, it does down. Just not in coordination with when electricity is needed, and that is a GOOD THING?
Imbecilic is too kind of a word for your belief system.
I remember another guy who talked about “inevitable”
Flexible? You really said that? I guess if you mean that they don’t work when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, they’re flexible. When you need them, they’re not producing. They “flexibly” shut off the power when you need it most. What are you people smoking?
Don’t you have a bridge somewhere to haunt?
Not even on topic besides being stupidly wrong.
“The greenest fuels…” quote at the end is correct and very appropriate. Thank you for including that.
I had no idea what “Solar Geoengineering” is until I read this
pretty darn far (500 words) into the article:
There are growing calls in recent years for research on “solar geoengineering,” a set of entirely speculative technologies to reduce incoming sunlight on earth in order to limit global warming.
Most if not all geoengineering schemes are without merit.
So turning the Sahara into savanna should be a piece of cake for these geniuses. They can start on that with some upwind nebulizers, irrigation projects, and let us know how that is going for them in 30 years or so.
What if there was an additive you could add to gasoline that would make gasoline net zero for IR. Would we have to make that additive illegal?
Ps: I expect that additive already exists. Probably is illegal.
If we can add horse pee to and a blue toilet sanitizer to diesel and call it blutec why not an aerosol additive to make fossil fuels IR net zero.
Probably only need to add it to jet fuel.
Netzero Fuels Inc.
Netzero Fuels Inc.
Patented additive NZ7.
Scientifically blended to remove the harmfull effects of Climate Change. Cleans your engine while healing the planet.